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11.6-inch, $249 USD laptop is drawing rave reviews

The top selling notebook on Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) currently is... a Google Inc. (GOOG) Chromebook?!

This news may come as a shock to many, but the Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. $249 USD Wi-Fi model Chromebook seized that crown recently, placing #3 in overall PC sales on Amazon.  The $310 USD 3G-equipped model settled for a respectable #19 place in notebooks.

The only "PC" that's currently outselling the (Linux) Chrome OS based Samsung laptop on Amazon is the 7-inch $170 USD Galaxy Tab 2.

Amazon sales aren't everything, but Chromebooks are clearly rising fast and appear dangerous.  According to Gartner, Inc. (IT) they accounted for nearly 5 percent of PC sales last quarter (1 in every 20 PCs sold).  Moreover, they comprised roughly 25 percent of sub-$300 USD notebook sales.
Samsung Chromebook
That's a shocking comeback for an operating system that appeared all but dead after abysmal sales half in H2 2011.  The key appears to be what drew excitement to Chromebooks in the first place -- prices.

Prices were originally expected to be in the $200-300 USD range, when Chrome OS was first announced way back in Nov. '09, but when it finally landed in May '11 they slotted in at $350-500 USD.  Samsung refused to release sales on its original Chromebook priced at $430 (Wi-Fi); $500 (3G), but it was rumored to be in the tens of thousands of units.

By contrast, after cutting its price nearly in half, Samsung is moving millions of Chromebooks.  Aside from the price, another key to the Chromebook resurgence is a tweaked operating system user interface, which Google has devoted a lot of TLC to, even when Chromebooks weren't selling.

For its price the 11.6-inch Wi-Fi model includes impressive specs:
  • 1366x768 11.6-inch display
  • 2 GB DDR3 (1333 MHz)
  • 1.7 GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos 5250
  • 16 GB NAND Flash hard drive
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Weight: 2.4 lb
  • Dimensions: 11.40 x 8.09 x 0.69 inches
Is Chrome OS the next Android?  It's too early to say, but it's enjoying a similar meteoric rise in sales after a slow start much like Android did.  For Google, it appears patience and devotion to its craft is yet again paying off.

Source: Amazon



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Don't count your chickens
By CaedenV on 7/18/2013 3:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I am turned off by Android, I really like Chrome. Where Android UI is all 90's darkness and clutter, chrome is clean, simple, and still very useful. From my limited experience with a Chromebook I think that they have transferred all that I love about Chrome the browser into Chrome the OS.

There is however an issue: A Chromebook (at least how it stands now) is only ever going to be an accessory to a larger machine. They are cheap and gutless... which gets them great battery life on the road. But then again they are cheap and gutless, lacking a lot of power user function, and even some not so power user functions... like local storage.

So yes, for what they are, they are awesome, and finally appropriately priced. But at the same time it is a limited market that is jumping in at a non-commitment price point to test the waters. I would be very surprised to see these have sustained high sales for years on end like Android has.

On the flip side to this, I think that Chrome OS is the future for Google. Android may remain in name, but the tech behind it will slowly move over to chrome simply so that they can move onto more of their own technologies and rely less and less on MS for patent leases. I am personally a pretty big Windows Phone fan... but the idea of a simple but capable Chrome-like phone would be very tempting to me.




By TakinYourPoints on 7/18/2013 11:56:18 PM , Rating: 2
Android and Chrome are completely different groups within Google. They don't really have much influence or say over each other, which partly accounts for the difference in quality between the two. My friends at Google happen to work in the Chrome group, they do a great job. The Chromebook isn't really for me but the Chrome browser itself is probably my favorite Google product.


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